Questions Answered #6

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In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

Question 6: mike, from whom I ‘borrowed’ the idea behind these posts, asked me to give “Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English, and Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish”. Alas I’ve left this one too late to include “How to beat France at football” in my list but, hey, I thought I’d mention it again.

Now, with such tight constraints I’ll obviously have to aim my sights on the stereotypes of both nations and, just so we are all “singing from the same hymn sheet” (ohh god, shoot me now!), we’ll agree that the English are arrogant and selfish and that us Scots are friendly and generous.

What?!

The one thing that holds this post back from being a simple couple of lists, apart from my tendencies to over-think these things, is that there are certain traits that are considered “British”. The unwillingness to complain (or, more accurately, the dislike of ‘making a scene’), the constant apologies for things that aren’t our fault (yes, I too apologise when someone else steps on MY foot) and the drinking of tea to cure all ills.. that kind of thing, all “British” traits.

So I’ve had to look pretty deep into the psyche of both countries, and the following is taken from personal experience of having lived “dahn sarf” for a couple of years. A Scot amongst men you might say…

Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English

  1. Confidence – We revel in being the underdog and, for the most part, it serves us well. We are a nation of infrequent over-achievers and yes, I’m going to mention beating France at football again.
  2. Being Gay – you get Stephen Fry, we get those two twats from daytime DIY programs (Craig and.. thingy)
  3. Pubs – one glaring difference in the attitude towards the pub. In Scotland a pub is for drinking in, a place to get away and meet some acquaintances. In England the local has a much more ‘family’ feel to it. Not a bad thing, every community needs a centre… ok, so maybe a pub isn’t the BEST place but it’s a start.
  4. Sundays – Sunday lunch, a quiet day with few shops open. Yes it DOES make a difference.
  5. Nope… I’m out… anyone??

Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish
Only five? Really?? Damn, this is much easier than… yeah, you get it.

  1. Humility – confidence is one thing but it too frequently spills over into arrogance and that’s not a very nice trait. Whilst it does begin to grate when you are STILL celebrating winning the World Cup over 40 fuckin’ years ago.
  2. Square sausage – if you know, you know. If you don’t, get some!
  3. How to drink – or more accurately, why allowing pubs to stay open longer STOPS everyone cramming as much alcohol down their necks on a Friday night before the pubs shut. Up here we are much more civilised about it.
  4. Kilts – they are NOT skirts. You know that feeling when you put on your best suit, multiply that by ten when you’ve got some tartan swinging round yer knees!
  5. How to talk proper like – there is a reason why the more tempered Scottish lilt is rated as one of the nicer accents in the world. Plus we actually make an effort to pronounce all the letters in a word.

Contentious? Possibly, so feel free to suggest others, I very much doubt that this is an exhaustive list, and I very much doubt that broad agreement will ever be reached anyway. You sassenachs are an argumentative bunch…